Posts tagged Free Market
England’s Levellers: The World’s First Libertarian Movement
The first-ever libertarians were the Levellers, an English political movement active in the seventeenth century. The Levellers contributed to the elaboration of the methodological and political paradigm of individualism, and they are at the origin of the radical strand of classical liberalism. While the Levellers are often characterized as a quasi-socialist movement, closer examination shows that the Levellers had much more in common with advocates for free markets than with socialists.
This interpretation of the Levellers is supported, among others, by Murray N. Rothbard who considers them as “the world’s first self-consciously libertarian movement.” Rothbard notes that
[i]n a series of notable debates within the Republican Army — notably between the Cromwellians and the Levellers — the Levellers led by John Lilburne, Richard Overton and William Walwyn, worked out a remarkably consistent libertarian doctrine, upholding the rights of self-ownership, private property, religious freedom for the individual, and minimal government interference in society. The rights of each individual to his person and property, furthermore, were natural, that is, they were derived from the nature of man.
One of the most important of the Levellers’s contributions to the theoretical foundation of the libertarian doctrine was, according to Rothbard, that they, “transformed the rather vague and holistic notions of natural law into the clear cut, firmly individualistic concepts of natural rights of every individual human being,” including fundamental tenets of libertarianism. This included the right to self-ownership, methodological individualism, individual natural rights theory, sound property rights, and economic freedom.
Lilburne defended natural law as “Nature and reason” and “the grounds of all just laws” and that “therefore against this Law, prescriptions, statutes, nor customs may not prevail. And if any be brought in against it, they be no prescriptions, statutes nor customs, but things void, and against justice …”
In 1646 while Lilburne was imprisoned for high treason, Overton wrote A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens, and other Free-Born People of England, to their own House of Commons, urging that Lilburne be freed. The Remonstrance became a great Leveller manifesto.
“We are well assured, yet cannot forget, that the cause of our choosing you to be Parliament-men, was to deliver us from all kind of bondage, and to preserve the Commonwealth in peace and happiness,” Overton wrote. “But you are to remember, this was only of us but a power of trust, which is ever revokable. … We are your principals, and you our agents.”
Overton advocated religious tolerance, even for the much-reviled English Catholics, and also denounced the practice of impressing men into the army and navy as a form of enslavement.
Moreover, the Levellers advocated property rights and the freedom to contract and trade, as against monopolies and privileges guaranteed by the state. They celebrated the benefits of economic freedom to society and opposed the government taxes, customs, excises, and regulations that inhibited competition.
In May 1652, Walwyn presented to the Committee for Trade and Foreign Affairs a defense of free trade against the Levant Company, urging the abolition of monopolies and trade restrictions by the government. In Walwyns Conceptions; For a Free Trade, the author vindicates free trade as a common right conductive to common good. More than a century before Adam Smith, Walwyn directly linked freedom of trading to the public good. Exalting the benefits of competition, he holds that the results of free trade and competition are more and better goods, lower prices, more ships, plenty of men becoming useful members of the community, and more wealth for active and creative people.
Walwyn explored the question of whether leaving foreign trade “equally free to all Englishmen would be most profitable for the Common wealth,” and he concluded “that for foreign trade to be universally free to all English men alike, would be the most advantageous to the Common wealth.”
Walwyn criticized Parliament for carrying on the oppressions of the monarchy by maintaining all the monopolies and the privileges granted by the Crown in the field of trade. The right to trade freely, Walwyn maintained, is an ancient, natural, claimed right of all Englishmen and it is much more profitable than any government restrictions and privileges.
Continuing his analysis of competition, Walwyn notes that, “the numerousness of merchants will occasion a strife and emulation among them, who shall produce the best ordered goods.” And he underlines the advantages for the laborers, pointing out that the competition will produce, “greater price for work; whereas merchants in Companyes have noe need of such diligence … and workmen must worke at what rate they please.”
Walwyn, as well as Overton and Lilburne, attributed lamentably low wages to monopolies, hampered trade, and excise taxes.
The Levellers were concerned with economic rights and these economic rights were a direct consequence of the right to self-ownership and included individual property rights, freedom to produce, sell, buy, and trade, and to do all this without license, monopolies, regulations, and arbitrary taxation. That is to say, they advocated a free market economy. The right to trade freely was considered a natural right by Lilburne, or a “native liberty” as in Overton’s Remonstrance.
Arguing from the theoretical supremacy of natural rights, Lilburne rejects any form of regulation of trade.
Elizabeth I abolished some monopolies, but by the time the Levellers were writing, the old monopolies had been restored to support the economic and fiscal desires of the Crown. Lilburne considers such trade restrictions illegal from an ethical standpoint. Moreover they created state privileges for bankers, aristocrats, chartered companies, and corporations.
Charles I created new monopolies and privileged concessions under the name of licenses, and the Long Parliament, and subsequently Cromwell, confirmed the most relevant monopolies such as the right to export woolen cloth, the privileges of the Merchant Adventurers, and the privileges of chartered companies such as the Levant Company.
In turn, Lilburne protested against the monopolies of coal, soap, and woolen clothes. The economic concessions by public authorities paved the way to the creation of privileged positions of supremacy in public institutions and to the violation of the individual birth rights to equal opportunity to compete freely. Lilburne realized that the opposite of competition is privilege.
By the eighteenth century, what is now known as classical liberalism would draw heavily upon the work of the Levellers and their support for individual natural rights theory, property rights, economic freedom, and free trade, and the Levellers’ libertarian opposition to government privilege, government monopoly, and the suppression of free trade remains as instructive today and as it was in the seventeenth century.
About the Author
Roberta Modugno is professor history of political thought at the University of Roma TRE (Rome – Italy). A scholar of American libertarianism, she is the author of several works on Murray N. Rothbard and edited the collection of Rothbard’s papers, Rothbard versus the Philosophers: Unpublished Writings on Hayek, Mises, Strauss, and Polanyi.
Image credit: https://mises.org
On Friday the office of Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued the following press release regarding her renewed fight against FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and introduction of H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act.
Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn today renewed her fight to block the FCC’s efforts to implement new net neutrality rules. In response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement this week that the FCC would begin the process of rewriting the agency’s Net Neutrality rules, Blackburn has introduced H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act of 2014.Congressman Blackburn’s legislation would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules from 2010 by stating they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.
“In typical fashion, the Obama Administration is proving once again that they will stop at nothing to restrict our Internet freedom. Despite having their regulations rejected by a federal appeals court, Chairman Wheeler has decided to press forward with the effort to implement these overreaching rules.
“Net Neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet. Once the FCC has a foothold into managing how internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. It’s time for Congress to slam the FCC’s regulatory back-door shut, lock it, and return the keys to the free market. My legislation will put the brakes on net neutrality and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”
Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which were first proposed in 2010 by former Chairman Julius Genachowski. Congressman Blackburn has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules and first introduced the Internet Freedom Act during the 112th Congress.
Also on Friday Rep. Blackburn appeared on Fox News to discuss the FCC’s efforts to control content over the broadcast airwaves and online, the First Amendment and Net Neutrality.
Glenn Jacobs spoke to a group regarding Austian Economics several months back in the video shown below which I had intended to share. Today I realize that despite the best of intentions and saving the video I had not yet posted the presentation by Glenn Jacobs, published by messengersforliberty, which I would encourage all to watch. Should you have the opportunity to attend a meeting featuring Glenn Jacobs as speaker I would recommend attending, as you will find him to be a highly personable and intelligent individual, and that you will find your time very well spent.
Austrian Economics with Glenn Jacobs
Published by messengersforliberty
This economic presentation with Glenn Jacobs, aka Kane, was documented on September 5, 2013.
“It really ticks me off when I hear leftists and statists talk about how the free market causes wealth inequality, the free market doesn’t. The free market though out history has allowed poor people to pull themselves up and has given people more socio economic ability to move up and down the socio economic ladder, up, than anything else in history.
Paul Krugman, who is a keynesian economist par excellence, just wants to inflate like crazy, but yet he writes a column for the New York Times and it’s called ‘Conscience of a Liberal’, because he loves poor people despite the fact that he’s the guy that’s killing them, but then he’ll look at someone like me and say you hate the poor. I don’t hate the poor, I hate the fact that they’re poor.”
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The Economics of the Police State | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Published by misesmedia
Published on Jan 22, 2014
Recorded at the Mises Circle Southwest Regional in Houston, 18 January 2014. Includes an introduction by Jeff Deist.
In the modern United States, federal laws are now so numerous and written so broadly and vaguely, that it is nearly impossible to make it through the day without breaking at least one of them. And through it all, an enormous government apparatus of prisons, prosecutors, police, and bureaucrats remains well-funded, powerful, and nearly impossible to oppose in court.
The Side Effects of Obamacare on Healthcare Providers with Dr. Keith Smith
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Amid a flurry of system failures, the President has taken to the road, to build support for his healthcare law. Each day, the Chief Executive will outline one success of the program, leading up to a December 23rd deadline to get coverage in January.
Many observers close to the debate over the law believe providing lower prices would have been better-provided by a free market system. Some healthcare providers are supplying services at lower prices by offering procedures in exchange for immediate payment.
One of these facilities is the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. This healthcare provider is collectively owned by approximately 40 local surgeons. Payment plans are not available through the center for outpatient surgery. But, they are a state-of-the art medical institution with infection rates much lower than the national average.
The medical director of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma is Doctor Keith Smith. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist with over two decades experience in private practice. He is also an author, who has written extensively on the effects of Obamacare.
Doctor Smith is our guest on the show today.
Meet the Next News Team: http://youtu.be/2QnNKwQ2WkY
Obamacare disaster exposes what happens when government is too big not to fail
Obamacare is a crony capitalist vehicle, created in haste, against the will of the majority of Americans, put together by political hacks, enforced by the most hated agency of the United States government, which forced the cancellation of millions of health insurance policies, is “navigated” by people who could in theory be felons, which potentially exposes our personal information to all parts of government, which has made life harder and more expensive for millions, which constitutes a massive tax increase on the middle class, and is named for a man who lied repeatedly over 3 years to the people of the United States about whether they could keep their health insurance plans and doctors. The law stinks.
Obamacare should be repealed. It should be unwound. It, as I’ve said before, should be tossed into the dustbin of history and burned.
This is what happens when a program becomes too big not to fail. We’re looking at it. Obamacare was a huge power grab by the statist establishment. Nationalized healthcare is the holy grail of big government people because if the bureaucrats control your healthcare, ultimately they control you.
But the statists bit off more than they could chew. Obamacare is now dying and suddenly many people who didn’t really think about such things very much are coming to understand why it is that “big government” is a bad thing.
That the program was put together by people who I think it is now clear had no idea what was going on from the outset is amazing. Weren’t the Obamacare folks supposed to be competent? Wouldn’t a responsible leader have stopped or at least changed the direction of the snowball of dysfunction once it was realized that things were not going well, 2 years ago?
The average American is increasingly asking, “Why should I trust my health to these people? Many are also asking, people who didn’t ask it before, “Why should I trust my country to these people?”
In the wake of the of the government shutdown Rachael Maddow actually crowed about how with the end of the government “shutdown” so too had America’s traditional distrust of government ended. Big government is the way forward! Thank God we put Ted Cruz in his place. See I told you we’d beat those evil Tea Partiers. Hurrah for the state! Hurrah for Obamacare, Hurrah for Obama!
It was only a month ago that she was saying this. A month. The world has changed, and the worm has turned for the big government people.
What needs to happen now is that the free market people need to solve the problems in healthcare the American people have legitimate concerns about, specifically a catastrophic health event. This could be a diagnosis of cancer, of a developmental disability in a child, Parkinson’s, the maladies are myriad, and people are right to be concerned that they might find themselves losing everything in bankruptcy on top of a life changing or terminal illness diagnosis.
This fundamentally is the concern of most Americans. It’s not birth control. It’s not “wellness visits.” It’s not prenatal care. It is financial destruction because of sickness.
This is the political nugget. The big government people have sold the American people on the idea that the only way to address this problem is through a massive new government program, which is absolutely false. This problem can be solved through the market.
Bankruptcy due to illness may be the primary concern for everyday Americans, but it’s not for the statists. The big government folks DO want “free” birth control, and wellness visits, and prenatal care, and everything else. The specter of bankruptcy for a middle class family is a valuable tool to motivate people to the national healthcare cause, but its not the primary concern. The main concern is pulling more of the American economy into the sphere of the state.
Right now there is an incredible opportunity to show to the American people how free market solutions could address their primary health concern. A solution needs to be ready to go. Obamacare can’t just die. It needs to be buried by the free market.
Or burned in the dustbin of history. Either one is cool with me.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Central Bank Monetary Cures Cannot Work
Published by Peter Schiff
Peter Schiff on CNBC Europe (11/7/2013)
Listen to The Peter Schiff Show
Live Weekdays 10am to noon ET on http://www.SchiffRadio.com
Peter Schiff: US lost ability to produce, can’t live without debt
Produced by RT
Published on Oct 20, 2013
Addicted to debt, moving from one quick fix to the next — this is how the world sees America’s debt ceiling saga. With its craving only temporarily satisfied, we’re guaranteed to see a rerun of the debt tragicomedy in early 2014. Is it possible to break the vicious cycle, or is it a question of postponing the inevitable? To canvass these issues, Oksana is joined by ‘Dr Doom’ Peter Schiff, an investment broker who predicted the 2008 crisis.
Written by RPI Staff
Ron Paul With Charlie Rose: ‘The Meaning of Non-Interventionism’
Do not miss Ron Paul’s extensive interview on the Charlie Rose show. He gives the best yet definition of his personal philosophy, called “non-interventionism,” which also is the philosophical framework of his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He also offers important insights on Syria and his amazing new education freedom book.
Video capture added to RPI original post.
Glenn Jacobs (Kane) speaking tour in TN
(if you would like Glenn Jacobs to speak to your group, please e-mail us and let us know!
Mon Aug 26 – 7p – Rutherford Campaign for Liberty - Lanes, Trains, and Automobiles – 450 Butler Drive, Murfreesboro
Sat Aug 31 – 6p – Clarksville Liberty Fest – 430 Warfield Blvd, Clarksville
Tue Sep 3 – 5:30p – Smoky Mountain Tea Party – Blount County Public Library
Friday Sep 13 – 7p – Tri Cities Meeting – Logan’s Roadhouse in Johnson City
Thur Sep 5 – - 6:30p – Sumner United for Responsible Government – Hendersonville VFW – 73 New Shackle Island Rd
Thur Sep 12th – Morristown – TBD
Sep 19-21 – LPAC (with Ron and Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and others) - Liberty Political Action Conference, Chantilly VA
(H/T) to my friend Matt Collins for sharing this information.
Good job & thanks to:
Hope to see you there!